I recently attended a friend's wine tasting party, and it was such a great success that I knew I needed to share it. Adding themes and activities to, what would be, just standard cocktail parties, really makes the experience a memorable one and this wine party was a blast - great friends, great conversations, and great wine - a definite winner in my book!
My friend Erin asked all of us to bring a bottle of wine to her house....any price, any varietal...she just asked that we take note of the retail price, place the bottle in a brown bag and tie a ribbon at the top (to keep cheating to a minimum!). When we arrived, she lined up the bagged wines and wrote a number on each. She had already cut up lots of scorecards with corresponding numbers and placed them in a stack in front of each bottle. An empty cup was placed behind each wine bottle to hold the completed scorecards.
Then came the fun part - tasting! We had about 15 wines at the party, so it was perhaps a bit ambitious to taste through all of them, but we were good sports and didn't complain (she also provided spit cups for the designated drivers). The rules were simple: taste each wine and score it from 1-5, writing your score and name on one of the scorecards provided, and then placing it in the empty cup behind the bottle. We also took a guess on the varietal and wrote it on the scorecard as well.
Erin gave us a couple hours to taste through the wines - which was great because it gave us plenty of time to socialize and go back to re-taste some of our favorites (I have to admit that I parked myself in front of my favorite bottle and "re-tasted" it a few times...just to make sure that it was indeed that good. It was.). Erin also had some tasty crackers, appetizers, and waters on the table to keep us hydrated.
Then it was time for the judging! Erin took the scorecard cups into a back room and tallied up the scores for each wine. She also recorded our wine varietal guesses and brought the results back into the party room. Drum roll please........my wine was scored the 2nd highest! I brought the Ladera 2004 'Howell Mountain' Cabernet Sauvignon (a Platinum Series feature in the Gold Medal Wine Club) which you find at great discounted prices here. I recommend it (and apparently lots of my friends do too!).
Erin gave out prizes to those who brought the three best wines, one to the person who correctly guessed the most varietals, and one to the person who brought the worst wine (he received a 'Wine for Dummies' book, which seemed quite appropriate!). Us top wine winners received nice Riedel wine glasses, a classy wine opener, and wine glass charms, respectively.
What a great party! Next time you're looking for a new theme or activity, try this one out as it's sure to be a hit with your guests. (And if you want to increase your chances of winning...check out www.GoldMedalWineClub.com for a great wine selection with top ratings and multi-medal winners). If you need accessories for the prizes, they have those as well!